Arsenal produced a superb first-half performance to beat north London rivals Tottenham 3-1 and leapfrog their neighbours in the Premier League table.
Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka both had a goal and an assist as Arsenal rode a three-goal first half past a sad Tottenham Hotspur
The Gunners scored thrice in 22 minutes to open up a healthy lead and Spurs barely registered anything above disinterest in the first 60 minutes.
WATCH ARSENAL vs TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM
Heung-min Son scored late to give Spurs a brief amount of hope, but Tottenham stumbles — scratch that, falls right on its face — in a third-straight loss with three goals conceded.
Both teams now have nine points with three wins and three losses, but the margin of victory moves Arsenal into 10th compared to Spurs’ 11th.
FULL MATCH DETAILS
Questions are already being asked of Nuno Espirito Santo’s suitability for the role of Tottenham boss, just 88 days since he took charge – this was the first time in 18 years that Spurs have conceded three goals in three successive Premier League games.
They sat top of the league ahead of the international break, their fans taking great pleasure in seeing Arsenal propping up the table.
This emphatic win, however, sees Arsenal go above their neighbours as they continue to recover from a poor start to the campaign.
Son and Aubameyang both had early chances which were missed before ultimately being flagged offside.
It was the hosts, however, who had started the game the brighter and they duly delivered the opening goal just 12 minutes into the contest.
Martin Odegaard had time and space to spread the ball wide to Saka, whose low cross into the box was swept home by Smith Rowe, who arrived unmarked to send the ball past Hugo Lloris.
Thomas Partey then stung the palms of Lloris with a rasping effort before Aubameyang sent an effort whistling over the crossbar.
Arsenal did look nervy when Spurs could attack, mixing up a clearance before Son drew a smart stop out of Aaron Ramsdale.
Soon after and the home side had doubled their lead, countering at pace as Smith Rowe this time turned provider – bursting into the box and squaring for Aubameyang to finish.
Tottenham wanted the goal chalked off for a foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but the challenge from the returning Granit Xhaka was deemed legitimate by referee Craig Pawson.
Things would get even better for the Gunners as Saka would get in on the act to make it 3-0.
Partey stole the ball off Harry Kane and Arsenal again broke behind the Spurs defence with three passes.
Smith Rowe found Saka – who ran into the box and was challenged well by a backtracking Kane, only for the loose ball to roll back into the path of his England team-mate who then finished low past Lloris.
Nuno reacted at the interval, introducing Oliver Skipp and Emerson Royal in place of Dele Alli and Japhet Tanganga.
It made little difference at the start of the second half, Arteta up in arms as he wanted a penalty for a foul on Gabriel Magalhaes as Arsenal pushed for a fourth goal.
Spurs were wanting their own spot-kick soon after as Ben White seemed to trip Kane, but Pawson and the VAR remained unmoved.
It did, at least, finally warrant a reaction from Spurs, Ramsdale saving low from a Kane shot which appeared to be heading behind.
The England captain would then be guilty of missing a fine chance as he outmuscled Takehiro Tomiyasu and ran through on goal only to lift his shot wide of Ramsdale’s right-hand post.
Arsenal were happy to keep possession as the game wore on but Lloris had to be alert to push a low Saka shot wide.
Spurs would get on the scoresheet with 11 minutes remaining, Arsenal’s defence this time granting Son the freedom of their area for the forward to score from Sergio Reguilon’s centre.
A comeback never looked likely but Ramsdale did superbly to tip a deflected Lucas Moura shot onto the crossbar in stoppage time as Arsenal saw out the remainder of the game to go 10th in the table, one place above Spurs.
Three things we learned from Arsenal vs Tottenham
1. Arsenal keeps moving up, Spurs down: The Gunners’ determined performance was bright, too, and Arsenal is the only team in the Premier League boasting an active three-match win streak. On the flip side, only Norwich City joins Tottenham in having lost three in-a-row, all while allowing three goas. Harry Kane looks a shell of himself and Eric Dier doesn’t resemble a starting caliber PL center back, while Emile Smith-Rowe, Martin Odegaard, and Bukayo Saka oozed class at times in this decisive win.
2. Nuno will be furious: It’s not so much that Arsenal lost the derby or even that it was 3-0 within 34 minutes, it’s that the Gunners simply did whatever they wanted in a match that not only proffered better table position than their North London derby rival but the chance to kickstart the season. Remember: Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves beat Arsenal 2-1 home and away last season. He’s got the acumen here, though starting Dier and Davinson Sanchez over Cristian Romero is a question for the Portuguese boss.
3. Partey is a difference maker: We can’t count on Thomas Partey staying healthy for long but Mikel Arteta and the Gunners should celebrate every moment he’s available because the Ghanaian is a wonder worker for Arsenal. Partey read the game well while showing bite and a terrific range of passing in a 3-0 derby win.
Man of the Match: Bukayo Saka
Emile Smith-Rowe had almost as many key passes (two) as misplaced ones (88% passing), and that includes three-from-three long balls. Two drawn fouls add to his goal and assist in drawing up his day.
Somehow that lagged behind Saka, who was relentless with three key passes, two fouls drawn, three tackles, an interception and a clearance.
North London derby recap
Arsenal was swarming the visitors within moments of kickoff, and it felt like not if but when would the Gunners best Hugo Lloris.
Smith-Rowe struck first with a well-worked team goal that saw the young English attack spin a low cutback past a diving Lloris.
Aubameyang had it 2-0 on another goal that showed a real lack of awareness from the Tottenham back line.
The third was courtesy Saka and off of a Kane giveaway, the center forward’s sliding bid to make amends for his error leaving Saka clean on goal for another low finish.
Arsenal might’ve had two or three more and Tottenham should’ve felt relief to get to halftime with the deficit at three.
But the answers off the bench did not arrive apart from Son’s close-range finish to make it 3-1.